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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

All Good Things


While the snow was gently falling this morning, I finished stitching this sweet little wool piece. The pattern,  "All Good Things," is from Calico Patch Designs.  I didn't purchase the kit but used colors from my wool stash which were very similar to the photo on the pattern.


As you can see, I've also been baking. :-0 This block of pies was from week one of Lori Holt's "Let's Bake quilt." I bought the kit for this quilt and let me tell you, I spent a week doing all of the cutting. She has you pre-cut the fabric and stabilizer for each block and put each in separate marked freezer bags. It was a relief to finally get everything prepped, and I know that I am going to enjoy working on this project.

Over the weekend I went to my monthly quilting group in Stoughton and diligently worked on blocks for Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake mystery quilt. Now, I know what you are thinking . . . why doesn't she just concentrate on one project at a time? Nah, that would make way too much sense. :-)

Yesterday I met friends for a fun breakfast, and today I was to meet another group for lunch, but the snow cancelled those plans. I must say, however, it was the loveliest type of fluffy, easy to shovel snow. Emma had a ball racing around in it while I watched from the porch.

Well, my shoveling is done, so I think I'll go do some sewing.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Joy in Patriots' Nation


Unbelievable, but true,  the New England Patriots have once again won the AFC Championship and Tom Brady, The G.O.A.T, in two weeks will be leading us all to the LII Super Bowl in Minneapolis!!!


That even put a smile on the usual grumpy face of  Coach Bill Belichick.

 
I find it stressful being a football fan, but we have come to trust in Tom and the Coach and know the team simply won't give up. Now we just have to be sure that Gronk is healthy to play.

Yesterday afternoon I did something that I have never done before. I attended a puppy shower; that's right, a puppy shower! The daughter of my neighbor recently got a puppy, so my neighbor thought it would be fun to have a party to meet the new little one . . . a perfectly wonderful excuse for a party on a grey January afternoon.)  There were paw print balloons, puppy napkins and plates, dip and chips served in little plastic dog bowls, mini hot dogs, bone shaped sugar cookies, and these pug puppy favor cupcakes. It was all very creative and great fun, and the puppy, Elvis Pugsley, was cuddly and adorable.  He appeared unfazed by all of his gifts: toys, treats, outfits, etc., but the humans got a chuckle out of seeing them. 


So what have I been doing on the quilting front this past week? Well, I have eleven completed blocks from Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake. I've also been doing a great deal of cutting of fabric in preparation for a new Lori Holt quilt-along which starts tomorrow. The quilt is called "Let's Bake." It looks as if it , too, will be great fun, and as you know if you follow this blog, I'm all about having fun. :-) At this point, I intend to make many of the blocks, but then use them in a wall hanging to display in my kitchen rather than a large quilt. We'll see how it goes . . .

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Quilting Week in Review


Yesterday after spending the morning working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery,  "On Ringo Lake," I called a friend to see if she wanted to go on an impromptu field trip to The Black Crow quilt shop in Bolton. What a lovely shop filled with a fine selection of fabric and wool!!! Yes, that was my reason for visiting this shop . . . to find some wool for a little project. Oh La La!!! There was a gorgeous selection of wool!!! :-) They had the wool in charm packs, fat quarters, and larger pieces along with a fine selection of patterns and kits. This store is definitely worth a visit.

In my attempts to be more productive this year, I thought it would be helpful to record what I have accomplished each week. At our guild meeting on Tuesday, I turned in three Harry Potter pillow cases and one drawstring bag. Since then, I have made two more draw string bags, prepped a small wool piece, and during last night's Patriot's game, finished the binding on a quilt which I'm giving to my 'forever' friend. What do I mean by forever? Well. . .  many, many, many, many years ago a little girl was walking up the street with her mother when her mother stopped and said, "Look at that cute, little red headed girl in the playpen. Maybe someday you will be friends."  I was the one in the playpen and thus have no memory of this, but my friend Cathy says it happened just like that. Once out of the playpen stage, we did indeed become friends and have remained friends ever since. :-)

One more thing . . . in a recent post I compared #45, our self-proclaimed "very stable genius" President to the original stable genius, Mr. Ed. Sure, they both have palomino manes, but the similarities end there. I did not in any way wish to besmirch Mr. Ed's good name. He was, of course, of course, a very smart horse who had enough horse sense to never, ever use hateful, disturbing, mean-spirited, or vile language.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quilting Goals for 2018



One of the two amaryllis bulbs that I purchased shortly before Christmas is blooming.  There are three blossoms on this striking red amaryllis.  I usually purchase two or three bulbs and plant them a few weeks apart so I will have continuous blooms, but this year I potted up two bulbs at the same time. For the longest time there was no sign of life with the the other bulb, but suddenly last week green appeared and there are now two stalks with buds coming up.


On Monday evening, I attended a meeting of the Quilters Connection Guild in Waltham . The featured speaker was contemporary quilt artist Ann Brauer. If interested, you may view some of her colorful, vibrant quilt pieces in her Etsy shop, Ann Brauer Studio - Contemporary Art Quilts and More.

I continue to work on Bonnie Hunter's "On Ringo Lake" mystery quilt. If you click on the link, you will see Bonnie's beautiful completed quilt and tutorials for making one yourself. She designed an interesting 'on point' layout with sashing. Her version calls for fifty blocks to create a quilt which is 70x94. As of now, I intend to make a somewhat smaller version.  At yesterday's meeting of the Crosstown Quilters Guild, I asked if anyone else was doing this mystery quilt, and I was surprised that no one besides Susan, Edith, Laurel, and I are working on it.


Many of the bloggers that I follow have been writing about their quilting goals for 2018, so I thought that I, too, might list some of the big projects that I hope to tackle/complete. Here goes.

1.) Finish "On Ringo Lake."
2.) Finish a Ricky Tim's "Celtic Cross" quilt.
3.) Finish a BOM that I started at a local quilt shop that has since closed.
4.) Quilt a batik top that has been completed for quite some time.
5.) Quilt another small quilt that has also been completed for some time.
6.) Finish a garden - themed quilt.
7.) Finish a Row by Row quilt.
8.) Finish a hand applique quilt based on a Yoko Saito book.

Oh, oh! There unfortunately appears to be a trend here. I guess that means I won't be doing the BOM from The Quilt Show this year.  I shouldn't admit it, but earlier this evening the doorbell rang and UPS was delivering a package . . . with a big smile on my face I opened it to see a kit for an upcoming Lori Holt quilt. :-) I really couldn't help myself since it looks like it will be lots of fun to work on. 

So, as you can see, I'm going to accomplish quite a lot in the year ahead . . . I hope . . . I hope . . . I hope. :-)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Cyclamens



I picked up two sweet little cyclamens at the grocery store last week which provide a spot of color on my kitchen windowsill. 


These vintage silver plated mugs/cups came from my aunts' home as did the blue bottle. I remember that when I was a child, they used the mug/cup above to scoop laundry powder from a large tub.  The silver plating has worn off, but I still like it. The blue glass bottle which once contained Milk of Magnesia also came from their home. I used to bring those bottles home thinking they were too pretty to throw out. I have many lovely vases, but still use this bottle for simple flower arrangements. :-)


This is the same cyclamen that I posted before, but as you can see it has grown and is bursting with blooms. I always seem to have good luck with cyclamens. The key is preventing the soil from drying out. As soon as you see the slightest signs of drooping, water the plant. Because the pots on the windowsill are so tiny, these plants are watered each morning. Another key is a cool environment. (My friends will attest that my home is never too warm. :-)

One last thing. . . have you seen the President's latest tweet ??? Here's another "stable genius."


Have a good week!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bombogenesis, Bomb Cyclone, Big Big Trouble!!!

Our new word for the day brought to us courtesy of Mother Nature is "bombogenesis." Those of us in the northeast are in the midst of one now. What is it? Live Science defines it this way:
        
        "Bomb cyclone" or "weather bombs" are wicked winter storms that can rival the strength of
        hurricanes and are so called because of the process that creates them :bombogenesis. "

Simply put, it is caused by a drastic drop in central low pressure in a short period of time. What does it mean for us? Well, snow totals in this area are predicted to be 12"+. That's not the worst of it. There is fear that the high winds and heavy snow could cause widespread power outages. Folks along the coast may face severe flooding and property damage. We knew we would be in trouble when earlier this week meteorolists started using words like "pummeled, pounded, clobbered,  etc ..." There was, of course, a mad rush to the grocery store to get the milk, bread, and treats to withstand the onslaught. Those of us who survived the Blizzard of '78 know better than to take any chances. As one man being interviewed said, "It's better to have the bread, milk, etc, and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

Right now, it's a virtual white-out with gusty winds and heavy snow. The meteorolists say it will wind down by this evening, and then we will need to get out and start clearing as dangerous, sub zero to single digit temps will follow overnight.  Yikes!!! Make that double Yikes!!! Yikes!!!

Okay, enough about the storm . . . yesterday my cousin Kristin and her girls came for 'Ladies Lunch" and brought Emma some birthday presents. Emma is now six. Here she is with her gifts and birthday card. She also received a bag of dog treats. She is one very lucky dog.   :-)


Stay safe and warm. Remember: spring will come again . . .